FACULTY NEWS: Dawn Paul’s Poetry Update

October 6, 2016

Writing and Interdisciplinary Asst. Prof. Dawn Paul has had a busy fall already! She read at the Old Frog Pond Farm’s Plein Air Poetry Walk Sunday, Sept. 11, and will have a poem in this year’s anthology. Learn more here!

Paul also published her haibun, a Japanese poetic form, in the journal Contemporary Haibun Online. “Haibun is traditionally about a journey, said Paul, “mine is a short journey to a working farm/sculpture garden in Harvard, MA.”

I turned in at the sign and was greeted by a smiling boxer with uncropped ears. No people in sight, no info kiosk, no trail signs. A working farm: young fruit trees protected by wire fencing; greenhouse with rows of red and green lettuce. A cricket chirped in tall weeds that edged the pond. The water was flat, not a ripple to trouble its coating of pollen, lily pads and mats of yellowish algae. Two cedar waxwing fledglings flew into a weeping willow and gave their soft, high-pitched calls. I crouched down to look for frogs and flushed a robin from the cattails. A painted turtle slipped into the water and lily pads gently rocked in its wake. I wished I could join it. The sun was hot, mid-June, mid-day. A deer fly buzzed my ear and I thought of Issa’s poem:

Oh do not swat them
unhappy flies forever
wringing their thin hands

I squinted in the sun, walked back to the car for a water bottle, pen and paper.

Learn more at contemporaryhaibunonline.com

Another online journal called Panoply, also published Paul’s poem “A Long Night’s Moon

the kitchen window is a mirror tonight
I switch off the light over the sink
watch my solemn white face
become the backyard in winter
pear tree stark against a thin crust of snow
dry weeds sketched along the picket fence
cardinals, black on white, scratch for seeds
feeding against the long cold night
as a slip of moon slides up the eastern sky

Learn more at at panoplyzine.com

Paul is the author of two novels, The Country of Loneliness and Still River. Her short fiction has been published in anthologies, journals and magazines. She is also a frequent performer on Montserrat’s Improbable Places Poetry Tour.